Emollients are ingredients in moisturizers that soothe and soften the skin, making them ideal for inflammatory skin conditions. Finding one that works for you might take a little guess-and-test, says Dattner. “You never know what your trigger is going to be, so you might have to experiment,” he says. “I usually recommend oils. Creams are obviously sensorily appealing, but you just want to make sure that you’re not allergic to the preservatives in those. Again, most people aren’t, but you need to know your own skin.”
There are quite a few at-home, natural remedies that have received anecdotal praise, from honey face masks to oatmeal baths. These ingredients are emollients and have skin-soothing properties—and even some smaller clinical studies pointing to their positive effects but no sweeping conclusions from the research community. But overall, the advice remains the same from Dattner: Spot-test first, and remember that everyone is different. Just because it was effective for someone you follow on Instagram doesn’t mean it will work for you.